As your child grows older, you need to adjust the harness system accordingly to make sure of a secured fit. So, you need to know when to adjust car seat straps for your growing child.
Most child car seats have triple harness height adjustment levels for infants, toddlers, and older toddlers.
When to adjust car seat straps? Whenever you feel that the existing car seat harness straps setting no longer fits your child, you can loosen or tighten it as described below.
When to Adjust Car Seat Straps?
Following conditions determines when to adjust car seat straps. Have a look below:
When you notice either of the following conditions, it will be the right time to adjust the car seat straps for your child:
1. The top of the car seat is 1ʺ below your child’s head top
Note: To know more about proper infant car seat use, you can read our article “Infant car seat height limit”
2. The harness straps are too tightened and making the child uncomfortable
How to Adjust Car Seat Straps? A 5 Steps Quick Adjustment
Different companies have different setups to tighten or loosen the car seat straps. The best car seat brands usually have very simple adjustments of car seat straps/for example, “Graco”.
You can adjust its straps by taking help from our article “How to adjust Graco car seat straps”.
Generally, to tighten or lose the car seat straps:
- Put your child inside the car seat and determine the right position of the slot. The car seat straps should be at or below the child’s shoulder for rear-facing car seats and at or above for the forward-facing car seats.
- Remove the shoulder straps from the metal-splitter plate. The metal-splitter plate is located on the back side of the car seats.
- Pull the harness traps from the slots and reinsert them in the determined slot. Both the harness traps should pass through the same set of slots, and there should be no twist in the straps
- Insert the straps into the metal-splitter plate. The straps must hang in front of the metal-splitter plate.
- Pull the straps from the front side to make sure that these have clicked into the metal-splitter plate tightly.
Car Seat Harness Straps Correct Position
The harness system of all the baby car seat consists of 5 straps:
- 2 shoulder straps
- 2 waist straps
- 1 additional strap made to pass through the legs and meet in the middle
Car Seat with Shoulder Strap for Infants and Toddlers
Sometimes, the parents have to travel long distance with their newborns to fulfill their unavoidable engagements.
You can read our article how soon can a newborn travel long distance by car, for further tips and tricks before taking your newborn to a long ride.
To ensure a properly seated rear-facing children, make sure:
Right recline angle:
A recline angle is very important to provide comfort and safety to your newborn’s body while in the car seat.
“The right reline angle for rear-facing infants is “semi-reclined”
It will keep their head back and chin off their chest. As they grow, you can position the headrest from semi-reclined to upright to give them better protection from crashes and a better view from the back window.
Correct positioning of car seat with shoulder strap:
The right adjustment of shoulder straps is very important as it will keep your child restrained and they won’t slide up the seat.
The harness straps should:
- be slightly below the shoulders of newborns and infants, come up and over so that they will stay retrained during a crash
- Neither be too tightened nor too loose
- The straps should be tightened enough to not let your two fingers get in
- The lower 2 slots in car seat are for rear-facing children and the upper one is for forward-facing toddlers
Newborn Car Seat Straps Correct Position – Car Seat Harness Position
Infant car seats are designed to make sure that newborn babies, who are unable to hold their heads up independently, ride safely in cars.
Their safety depends upon the proper car seat strap placement. Get to know the newborn car seat straps correct position in the below guide lines.
When to Adjust Car Seat Straps For Rear Facing Car Seats?
The correct position of car seat straps for infant car sets riding rear-facing:
“The car seat slots should be at or just below your child’s shoulders”
When to Adjust Car Seat Straps For Forward Facing Car Seats?
For the kids riding forward-facing:
“The shoulder straps are at or just above the child’s shoulders”
Car Seat Chest Clip Placement
If the chest clip is placed in the right position, it would keep your baby (who will be confined) safe even in a violent crash by preventing the straps from breaking.
The chest clip should be:
“Neither be too low (the child may eject out of the straps) nor too high (may compress on baby’s throat)”
To keep utilizing your car seat until your child outgrows its height and weight limit, you must know when to adjust car seat straps.
The harness system of infant car seats may vary a bit from company to company. However, the basic steps mentioned above will be similar in all. A correctly positioned harness strap would keep your child safe and sound while travelling (either n car or by air).
How can you test if your harness is properly adjusted?
Place your hand flat while sliding the fingers (Your fingers should fit snugly between the baby’s leg and harness strap) under the straps to check the adjustment of each leg strap.
How to loosen shoulder straps on car seats?
To loosen shoulder straps, remove the straps from the metal retainer on the back side of the car seat. Take out the straps from the harness slot and reinsert them in the determined set of the slot. After that, put the straps right into the metal retainer again.
What is the correct car seat harness position for newborns?
Adjust the harness straps will come through the car seat slots or just below the shoulders of your child so that they won’t slide over the seat during a car crash.
How tight should car seat straps be?
Insert your fingers into the leg/waist straps. If your fingers fit snugly between the child’s leg and the harness strap, the harness straps are satisfactorily tight. You can also do a pinch test on the shoulder straps. Your fingers will be pinched if the straps will be too tight.
How to adjust straps on Graco car seat?
Take out the shoulder straps from the metal retainer, pull off them from the front side, and insert them into the determined slot. Then fit them again into the metal retainer and pull the straps from the front side of the car seat to make sure a snug fit.
What is the correct front facing car seat strap position?
The car seat straps should be at or just above the shoulders of the child riding front facing.
How to put car seat straps back on?
To put the car seat straps back on, unbuckle the chest clip, loosen the harness straps fully, and take off them from the metal splitter. Reinsert them in the determined set of slots and put them back into the metal splitter.
Where is the chicco keyfit 30 chest clip supposed to be?
The best position for the Chicco Keyfit 30 chest clip or any other seat’s chest clip is “at the armpit level” or anywhere between the mid to upper chest area for a satisfactory harness.